Longboards For Skating

Known as “surfboards with wheels”, longboards have long stable decks and soft wheels that replicate the feel of surfing on land. They are increasingly being used for street transport, down hill & slalom racing, cruising and long distance skating.

Due to their nature they are great for carves, slides and freestyle manouveres. Longboards are popular with both surfers & snowboarders, allowing them to replicate the feel of gliding over an ocean or a snow covered piste.

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Amongst the best quality longboards for skating are Lush skateboards. They offer skaters high quality decks, trucks & wheels at reasonable prices.

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Longboards usually measure from 33 up to 59 inches in length and their width can be either 9 or 10 inches. Available in a variety of shapes and styles, longboards can incorporate ‘flat nose riders’, ‘pintails’, ‘drop through decks’, ‘board drop decks’ and ‘boards’.

‘Pintails’ typically allow for loose- fitting trucks and bigger wheels that are usually better suited to accomplish that serene and weightless “surfing” sensation. A ‘drop deck’ or a ‘drop through’ board, on the other hand, will allow the skater to get right up close to the floor by giving a low centre of gravity. These boards enhance stability, and in turn, tend to be well suited to rapid descent riding.

When it comes to versatility, boards in the mid-length range are typically the most flexible. Mid-length boards tend to measure from 37 up to 50 inches. Because they are available up to fifty inches in length, they tend to be bulkier than smaller boards; making them not so suitable for mid-air tricks.

They do, however, add to that desired smooth motion by giving a heightened element of momentum- especially useful for downhill skating. The longboard’s innovative design permits both large turns & quick short carves not too different from the moves seen in surfers.

Longboard Decks

Typically constructed from plywood, long board decks can range between 2 to 11 layers of maple, bamboo or birch. These boards are always available in a consortium of designs and sizes where each variation comes with its own unique benefits.

PinTails

Characteristically flat and highly suitable for novice or beginner skaters, ‘pin tails’ are the most commonly purchased design of board. They incorporate a ‘teardrop’ deck and the innovative design provides ample foot space whilst preventing the wheels from contacting the board.

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Drop-Through

These aptly named boards include a cutout known as a ‘drop through’. This allows for trucks to be mounted via the deck.  As to be expected, the low platform permits enhanced stability at rapid paces.

Drop Decks

These boards are characterised by their specific shape in that the centre of the platform is further down than the point in which the trucks are arranged. The board is designed in a unique way for the truck points to be above the platform. The low platform is excellent for enhanced stability at rapid speeds and as such, these boards are typically associated with downhill speed skating.

Hybrid

These are the kinds of longboards that incorporate wheel cutouts to allow space for the board’s wheels to rotate at more precise angles. By doing this, the skater avoids ‘wheel bite’. Hybrid longboards are usually smaller in length than others; thus allowing the skater to perform tricks that are typically associated with standard skateboards.

Cruiser

Showcasing a kick-tail on the back of the board, together with a traditional deck shape, ‘cruiser’ long boards tend to be similar in shape to standard skateboards.

Depending on the shape of the deck, longboard decks curve higher or lower along the shaft. In addition to this, the width can incorporate a descending bend.

A ‘camber board’ sets the centre of the long board higher than where the truck positions by providing a continuing upward gradient along the board’s length. Flexible boards often use this design to help to stop the longboard from drooping with repeated use.

Opposite to the ‘camber board’, a ‘rocker’ board sets the middle of the longboard lower than where the truck is positioned.  By locking in the skaters’ feet, the user is able to perform advanced tricks with ease. A ‘concave’ board, on the other hand, bends upwards on either side and as a result, provides the skater with more control.

When it comes to equipment, most longboards and standard skateboards require the same; except that usually, longboarders put on slide gloves.

As longboards are fundamentally a variety of skateboards, they have similar parts. The differences of these parts are usually found in terms of wheels and dimensions.

 Mindless Longboard Wheels

Wheels

Typically, the wheels on a longboard are built from urethane and their performance is based on a variety of factors such as height, hub setting, lip shape, durometer and contact patch. Most longboard wheels are available up 107 mm and as expected, a larger wheel will demonstrate a more sluggish increase of velocity but a faster speed. Similarly, the durometer is dependent on the hardness of the urethane. As expected, a soft wheel will be slower than a hard wheel when ridden on a level surface.

On the other hand, a soft wheel gives a smoother and faster ride on an uneven or rough surface (the quickest durometer for a typical road is approximately 80a). Soft wheels tend to have a better grip than hard wheels and generally, better traction comes along side a wheel with a large width. That being said, the design of the board’s lip can profoundly influence traction, and skaters should consider that round lips are designed to break into a sliding action whereas square-shaped lips are designed for grip.

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Trucks

Trucks can be found in a variety of designs but typically speaking, a wide truck means a broad turning sphere. Wide trucks are also considered to provide better stability.

Generally, two varieties of trucks are used: ‘conventional vertical kingpin’ and ‘reverse kingpin’. ‘Reverse kingpin’ trucks place the hinge on the inside towards the middle, whereas ‘conventional vertical kingpins’’ axles are found on the outside towards the nose and tail.

Well-liked ‘conventional’ trucks include ‘Tracker’ and ‘Independent’ and consistently popular ‘reverse kingpin’ trucks include Paris, Gullwing, and Randal. It’s worth noting that ‘reverse kingpin’ trucks were designed with longboarding in mind and are consistently considered to provide better stability and grip.

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